Don't miss a story sign up to Exmouth Journal's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Serviceman death driver ‘lacked experience’ says coroner

10:38 27 June 2014

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths was killed in Afghanistan.

Senior Aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths was killed in Afghanistan.

Archant

An Exmouth serviceman who was crushed to death by a vehicle in Afghanistan died in part due to ‘a lack of driver and commander training and experience’, a coroner has said.

The inquest into the death of RAF senior aircraftman Kinikki Griffiths, aged 20, in July 2010, concluded yesterday at County Hall.

The inquest had heard how the serviceman died when a six tonne Jackal patrol vehicle rolled over him as he used a torch to help try and mend a fuel leak.

Dr Elizabeth Earland, coroner for Devon, concluded the inquest with a narrative verdict.

She said the Jackal was being driven by an unqualified driver, Corporal Wiliam Wortley, who parked up on a sloping lay by on Highway One a few kilometres from Camp Bastion.

She said a ‘defective parking brake’ was put on and SAC Griffiths lay underneath the Jackal to repair the fuel line with a comrade.

She said the engine was turned off to avoid the risk of an explosion of the leaking diesel fuel but the Jackal rolled backwards, crushing SAC Griffiths’ chest and abdomen.

The coroner said: “The danger of the resulting brake failure was not appreciated due to a lack of driver and commander training and experience.”

But she praised the ‘courage and frankness’ of the RAF witnesses who were at the scene of the incident when SAC Griffiths was killed.

And she praised their bravery in the hostile environment of Afghanistan.

The coroner also said she would be writing to the Ministry of Defence to ‘review their training methods for commanders, drivers and maintenance’.

Following the inquest, the family of SAC Griffiths called on the RAF to launch a fresh inquiry into the incident.

In a statement, his father Nick said: “We have learned a number of failures relating to the errors made while Kinikki was out on patrol, of vehicles being driven by people who were not trained to do so, orders being breached, and that the vehicle was driven incorrectly with the hand brake on.

“In light of all we have heard, we call upon the RAF to re-open the investigations into what happened to our son so that those who may have been responsible are properly held to account.

“Our son, our brother, our hero - forever in our hearts.”

Earlier Group Captain Scott Miller told the two-day inquest that Jackals were no longer used in Afghanistan after they were taken out of service.

He said: “The enemy overmatched the protection of the Jackal and the continuing IED threat.”

He also said the RAF had stopped ‘turning a blind eye’ to breaking rules and regulations and had implemented other measures since SAC Griffiths was killed.

Earlier Cpl Wortley, who did not hold a driving licence, admitted being the driver of the Jackal when it was on a three-vehicle patrol looking for lost grenade explosive and night vision goggles.

He was the commander of the vehicle and in charge of the heavy machine guns – but was not qualified to drive the Jackal.

The inquest heard that ‘vehicle reliability’ in Afghanistan was ‘not good’ and there was a lack of training, manpower for maintenance and qualified, competent drivers for a variety of vehicles used on patrols.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30

The organiser of the Nieghbourhood Plan for East Budleigh believes good progress is being made in creating the blueprint for the village’s future.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30
Exmouth fundraisers Steve Noon, Jason Wright and Darran Burt.

A trio from Exmouth is gearing up to put the ‘pedal to the metal’ for a cancer charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00
Children in Class one at Otterton primary school enjoyed a visit by local childrens' author Jan Oke this week who talked about her bus 'Naughty Bus'. Ref exb 3023-04-16SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A visit from a Budleigh Salterton author has inspired children at Otterton Primary School to create their own stories.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Littleham resident Mrs Vida Phillips receives a cheque for £1,000 from Steve Jennings-Archant SW Circulation Manger. Ref exe 2971-04-16SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham pensioner, who recently won a cash competition in the Journal, has hailed her victory as a ‘lovely surprise’.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Steve Williams and Pete Woodham-Kay of the Pig and Pallet in Topsham. Ref ext 3400-05-16SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Topsham restaurant co-owner believes the introduction of the Government’s National Living Wage will make life even harder for small businesses.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Nick Duckett and Jenna Pease from Pets at home present a cheque to Shelagh Morse of East Devon cats protection. Ref exe 04-16TI 9796. Picture: Terry Ife

Kind-hearted fundraisers in Exmouth have raised a whopping £1,166 for animal welfare charities.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Residents of Budleigh Salterton are calling for better job opportunities for young people to be included in a blueprint for the town’s future.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Topsham primary school children learning about fire safety awareness with Liz Porter and Maxine Tyson of Devon and Somerset fire and rescue. Ref ext 03-16TI 9602. Picture: Terry Ife

Schoolchildren in Topsham were given life-saving information about what they should do in the event of a fire.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Flooding at Mytholmroyd in Yorkshire - one of the communities which will benefit from money raised in Exmouth and Budleigh by Rotary Club volunteers.

Rotary Club fundraisers from Exmouth have revealed that a total of £4,000 has been sent to help flood victims in the north of England, thanks to generous local residents.

Read more
Friday, February 5, 2016
Fundraisers at the Thomson Reuters Digita Wii Olympics.

An Exmouth business is set to dig deep to support a children’s hospice charity at the Rainbow Run in June.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications